Ausgabe 15

Pour une sociologie «embarquée» des univers à risque?

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Mathilde Bourrier

Gaining access to high-risk organizations remains difficult but once achieved working in such an environment does not necessarily compel the researcher to create specific tools and techniques. More thought than is normal for the sociological method per se should, therefore, go into the conditions under which access is negotiated. In this article, we posit that a strategy similar to that adopted in developments in reporting, for this case dubbed «embedded journalism», is taking shape in sociology. Of course, an «embedded sociology» does not yet formally exist. Yet, the way in which sociologists have to approach high-risk environments leads us to apply the metaphor of «embeddedness» and to see the extent to which a comparison might be fruitful. On the one hand, the strategy of embeddedness offers avenues for access to the private core of places, rarely the subject of sociological research. On the other, it compels us to question anew the implications of how such access practices affect sociological production.